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Luton Town Fans Verdict: Another Strong Showing From The Royals

Reading made sure they headed into the international beak on a high with a comprehensive victory over Luton that left the fans more than happy.

What a joyous way to end an encouraging run of both results and performances. It’s fair to say that the majority of the fanbase were dubious at best when Mark Bowen was appointed as Jose Gomes’ successor - but he is certainly on the right track to changing the minds of those Loyal Royals.

Bowen has continuously repeated his desire to make Reading a hard team to play against, a team that no one is guaranteed any points against. After an unbeaten start to his managerial career - three wins and one draw - the former Stoke City number two is definitely making that desire a reality.

There hasn’t been many football matches at the Mad Stad in recent times where Reading have been in such control from minute one all the way to minute 90. John Swift and Ejaria were, well, they were just John Swift and Ovie Ejaria - a cut above the rest of everybody else on the pitch. Puscas and Baldock showed signs of a partnership forming and the defence rarely looked troubled by a free-scoring Luton Town.

A truly accomplished performance by the Royals and one that certainly got the fans talking after the game. Here are some of the key talking points to arise from the match...

John Swift

I have been a huge supporter of Swift ever since he joined on a free transfer back in 2016. He has become a scape goat and the person fans tend to blame when it isn’t going well due to his defensive ability. Okay, he may not be great defensively, but he doesn’t need to be - the lad is different gravy, as proven by another silky performance in midfield on Saturday.

The link up between Swifty and the just as talented Ovie Ejaria is a joy to watch sometimes, and the latter has rightly come in for a lot of praise recently but even though the Liverpool loanee managed to get on the scoresheet on Saturday, it was John Swift’s performance that left the fans purring on social media after the game.

Generally speaking - when John Swift plays well, Reading play well and that certainly happened on Saturday afternoon, and long may it continue...

Garath McCleary

Bowen’s appointment as Manager has reopened the doors for a few players who the door was very much closed for under the helm of Jose Gomes - none more so than Garath McCleary.

McCleary has more than split the opinon of the Reading fanbase over the last few months, should he be in the team? Does he deserve to be treated the way he was by Gomes? And it’s fair to say from the reaction after the game on Twitter that that opinion is still very much split.

The winger is definitely a respected player amongst his teammates and looks to be a fully fledged member of the squad now Bowen is in charge. You do have to take your hat off to him for coming back and looking fitter and stronger than ever, but there are a proportion of the fans who still feel he doesn’t deserve to be in the team...

A complete performance

The balance that Bowen is finding between playing more direct - winning second balls and defending solidly - and passing it around on the deck, getting Ejaria and Swift on the ball as much as possible is starting to become very rewarding.

There is no doubt, when you have players like Swift and Ejaria, they need to be on the ball as much as possible - and Bowen is managing to do that whilst also becoming a bit more no nonsense in defence, which is a huge positive.

Saturday was the most complete performance from a Reading team in a very long time, and performances like that will go a long way to helping us climb up the table and and a long way to helping Bowen gain some support from the Reading faithful, like he did after the game on Saturday afternoon...


10 points from a possible 12, three goals and a clean sheet. Happy days.

It’s starting to feel good being a Reading fan again, the players are leaving their blood, sweat and tears on the pitch after every game and that’s all we can ask. If the players continue to do that, when you have players like John Swift and Ovie Ejaria in the team too, you’re always likely to get a result.

Another international break now *sighs* but we’re back against Brentford in two weeks.